The average cost of annual truck insurance in the United States in 2019 was $1,750, according to Insure.com, while pickup trucks averaged $1,662. Both figures are less than the average to insure cars. The average cost to insure SUVs in 2020 was $2,340, according to Car Insurance Comparison. This was higher than the average cost to insure a car.
However, vehicle insurance rates are based on the value of the vehicle being insured, where it will be used, how it will be used, the estimated miles driven per month and the driving history of the owner. Rates also vary from state to state and city to city based on state requirements for coverage and claims rates in a particular area. Therefore, you can’t come up with an apples-to-apples or even apples-to-oranges comparison of truck vs. SUV insurance.
If the price of the SUV and truck are the same, then the rates for the same driver might end up being cheaper for a truck, which costs less to repair. By looking at the basic factors that go into pricing auto insurance, you’ll have a better idea of whether SUV insurance rates or truck insurance rates will be more expensive.
The Starting Value
The biggest factor in determining the insurance cost of a vehicle is the value of the vehicle itself. If the auto is damaged or stolen, it needs to be repaired or replaced. Some vehicles are more expensive to repair than others because of the parts needed or the expertise required to fix complex electronics or braking systems.
Therefore, it will cost more to insure a $60,000 SUV than a $30,000 truck and vice versa. This is true whether the vehicle is new or used. According to J.D. Power, midsize SUVs and trucks cost around $32,000, while full-size SUVs can cost more than $60,000, and full-size trucks average around $46,000.
Who Is Driving It?
A young or new driver, such as a teenager driving a family SUV, will pay higher insurance rates than an older driver with years of experience. Additionally, if a vehicle owner has a bad driving record, such as multiple speeding tickets or accidents, that will raise the insurance rates. If you’re planning on letting your teens or elderly parents drive your vehicle, make sure you let your insurer know so you can get them on your policy and get them and your vehicle covered.
Where Do You Live?
The same SUV can be more expensive to insure in one ZIP code or state than in another, explains the Insurance Information Institute. This is because states set their own insurance requirements for coverage (such as accident and bodily injury).
In addition, insurance companies look at geographic locations to see how many claims are made in each. Insurance will cost more in areas with high claims (including for theft and accidents) than in areas with fewer claims.
Truck vs. SUV Use
How the vehicle will be used is another wild card in this equation. Because trucks are often used to haul items and are driven off-road, they are often more expensive to insure than SUVs. This is especially true if the truck is going to be used for businesses purposes (such as a landscape or construction business). SUVs have sturdier frames than trucks (to protect families), so they are less likely to be totaled in an accident.
Steve Milano has written more than 1,000 pieces of personal finance and frugal living articles for dozens of websites, including Motley Fool, Zacks, Bankrate, Quickbooks, SmartyCents, Knew Money, Don't Waste Your Money and Credit Card Ideas, as well as his own websites.